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Wesley Chapel school clinic assistant Kimberly Smith arrested for stealing students' Ritalin pills

7:19 PM, Aug 30, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Part 2: Pasco school worker arrested on drug charges

Wesley Chapel, Florida - An elementary school is supposed to be a safe place for children to learn and play, but a clinic assistant at New River Elementary may have been putting children's health at risk.

Instead of giving kids their prescribed medication, investigators say Kimberly Smith was taking Ritalin pills and replacing them with some unknown tablet.

On Wednesday, the parents of a child uncovered what was going on.

"Parents came to the school, whose child had been prescribed the medication, because they didn't want him to be taking it anymore and when it was returned to them, they realized there were pills missing," explained Pasco Schools' spokeswoman Linda Cobbe.

When confronted by a school district investigator, Smith resigned. And on Friday Pasco Sheriff's detectives arrested her on drug possession charges.

It's possible this one time licensed practical nurse is nursing a drug habit. The state has suspended her license amid allegations of prescription pill shopping, and Friday's arrest report says Smith "personally" used the stolen pills and then tried to literally cover up her actions.

"One of the pills should have been all yellow and there was another pill that was found in there that looked like it had been altered, maybe with a highlighter of some sort," said Sgt. Chris Beaman with the Pasco Sheriff's narcotics unit.

Parents say what Smith did could have harmed the kids. "I know of one particular student my daughter helps to go to the office," said Demetrius Poulimenos outside the school. "And if they didn't have the medication he needed, that would be really sad for the child."

And Cobbe says school district officials cannot remember anything like this happening in the county before. "We are just sickened that she would do this."

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